Farmers share kernels of advice

SHARE
Crop . . .The Foundation for Arable Research used grain farmer  Mike Solari's farm as a backdrop for its field day.
Crop . . .The Foundation for Arable Research used grain farmer
Mike Solari’s farm as a backdrop for its field day.

 

Farmers were able to share grain-growing strategies last week at a field day organised by the Foundation for Arable Research (Far).
The field day took place at three farms in South Otago and Southland.
Research manager for cereals Rob Craigie of Templeton, Canterbury, said the aim of the event was for farmers to talk about crop-growing philosophies and to discuss the results of the foundation’s research.
“The aim was to talk about the research with the farmers’ crop as a backdrop and answer any questions farmers might have,” Mr Craigie said.
About 50 people turned up for the event.
Mr Craigie and Far chief executive Nick Pyke interviewed the host farmers about their crops.
“The aim was to fine-tune crop management of wheat and barley,” he said.
“It was about putting the research into context.”
At the first farm, in Otama, they discussed farm systems and disease resistance with farmer Mike Solari.
On the second farm, just eight minutes away, they discussed environmental issues and cereals management with farmer Chris Dillon.
On the third farm, near Balfour, the group discussed post-harvest management of grain and seed with farmer Craig Collins.
This was followed by a barbecue.
One of the topics Mr Craigie talked about was nitrogen management in wheat.
The foundation had carried out research on the right amount of nitrogen to apply.
Southland farmers were on the right track in turns of nitrogen management, Mr Craigie said.
“On the two farms looked at in Southland, farmers are applying close to the optimum amount of nitrogen.”
They also talked about the importance of fungicide and the management of Septoria tritici, which is a fungus harmful to wheat crops.
“The key message is to mix SDHI and triazole fungicides, which have different modes of action,” he said.
It is also important that farmers only apply a maximum of two SDHI fungicides in a season.
South Island farmers had a wet season, which promoted Septoria tritici, Mr Craigie said.
“It’s been a reasonably wet season in the South Island and that promotes disease.”
The afternoon went really well, he said.
“It was a good day.”